Goodness, that went well! Winning a prestigious international design award for our product innovation here at Cambridge Consultants is obviously fantastic – so scooping not just one but four gongs in the coveted 2021 iF DESIGN AWARDS is really heartening for everyone involved.

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As head of our User Centred Design Department, it happily falls to me to pay tribute to the teams behind the four projects that were recognised in the iF Professional Concept classes. As with all our projects, we aim to design with usability in mind, so it is particularly pleasing to have this recognised by such a significant award scheme as this. Since 1953, the German-based organising body – the iF International Forum Design GMbH – has been developing its reputation as one of the world’s leading truly independent design institutions.

Every year the award scheme receives more than 10,000 entries from all over the world, making an iF award the internationally recognised standard for design excellence. Our success means we are now placed in the top three UK design studios, as well as the top 100 worldwide. So here’s a rundown of the strategy, features and benefits of the four innovative designs that won over the hearts and minds of the judges.

LEAP low-cost endoscope device

LEAP is a single-use endoscopic surgical device concept which allows a micro camera to view inside veins and arteries. This project aimed to deliver an affordable device for surgeons to use in close proximity to patients during procedures. It is ideal for use in the developing world. LEAP uses machine learning to optimise image quality, enabling real-time imaging during surgery. Its use also reduces patient exposure to X-ray radiation as pre-surgical imaging is not required and reduces the risk of infection as it is single use. Our aim was to focus on usability and affordability, improving patient outcomes and making surgery easier and more effective.

CITO liquid biopsy analysis for cancer

CITO is a rapid liquid biopsy diagnostics concept which is aimed at improving biopsy analysis, especially in smaller settings such as primary care. The compact, sleek and user-friendly design makes it possible for non-specialist technicians to carry out liquid biopsy analysis accurately while a patient waits. We specifically focused on making sure the device was easy to use and keep sterile, with face recognition and easy-clean surfaces. CITO could prove invaluable in personalised cancer treatment, allowing practitioners rapid access to biopsy data so they can make informed adjustments to each patient's treatment plan.

WaveGuide Formµla™ portable NMR scanner

The WaveGuide Formµla™ is the world’s first portable battery-operated Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) device. WaveGuide Corporation, a US company based in Waltham, MA, announced its launch in February 2020. It can detect bacteria, virus and microorganisms quickly, as well as measuring purity or deterioration of product quality. Results are accessible on-site, in minutes and its connectivity offers excellent data tracking and aggregation.

It also offers a host of other applications in cases of testing the authenticity and degradation of samples, from pharmaceuticals and medicines to food safety checks to analysing samples in an oil refinery. For less than a tenth of the cost and a fraction of the size of traditional NMR systems, WaveGuide Formµla™ enables on-the-spot analysis of almost any substance without sacrificing analytical sensitivity or specificity.

Saranas Early Bird® Bleed Monitoring System

In March 2019, the system was granted de novo classification by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), becoming the first and only device on the market for early bleed detection during endovascular procedures. As our case study explains, the Saranas Early Bird Bleed Monitoring System detects bleeds during endovascular procedures at the very the moment they occur, allowing for immediate corrective action and significantly reducing complications.

In endovascular procedures, a sheath needs to be inserted into a blood vessel. Bleeding complications can arise if the needle accidentally pierces the vessel, and the danger is that this can occur but remain undetected for a significant period of time. The Early Bird system makes sure that bleeds are identified and treated as soon as possible, significantly improving patient outcomes.

Well done again to everyone involved in these great projects. If you’d like to discuss any of them in more detail, or maybe discuss your own design ambitions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Andy Pidgeon
Head of User Centred Design

Andy Pidgeon has been creating innovative and successful new products for over thirty years across a wide range of market sectors. A keen desire to understand the user has always been the key to his approach which has latterly led him to work in the medical sector as the head of User Centred Design at Cambridge Consultants in the UK.

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